MANILA - The revelations made by former police official Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong before the Senate is crucial in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) reinvestigation of the case of the so-called ninja cops.
"Mr. Magalong should be part of the complainant or may want to testify himself, bring in other persons," Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.
The DOJ said it would reopen the previous investigation on a team of Pampanga police officers led by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo who allegedly made off with some 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million.
The drugs were seized in an anti-narcotics operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee in 2013.
Perete said the reinvestigation would require additional evidence from both sides.
"Original sources would have to surface. It now becomes a burden on the part of the complainants to present those kinds of evidence which would be admissible in court not only in proving probable cause at the preliminary level but also for conviction in court," he said.
Magalong, former chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said he got a whiff of the allegedly anomalous anti-drug operation after getting word that several officers, including now Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde, had started buying new SUVs.
Albayalde was the provincial chief of the Pampanga police when the drug sting happened.
"He has made a lot of revelations during the course of the Senate investigation and we imagined that he'd have the wherewithal to identify these individuals and help us locate these individuals for the purpose of the preliminary investigation," said Perete.
Perete the case was earlier dismissed due to lack of evidence.
"The Senate investigation somehow put us on notice of the possibility that this version of the story may be more in keeping with reality with what was previously presented. But in the end, it's really a question of evidence," he said.
Perete said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has given the new panel of state prosecutors up to 30 days to reinvestigate the case.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government to investigate the allegation against Albayalde and the so-called "ninja cops." The PNP is under the supervision of the DILG.